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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
HOWTO choose hardware for a PC
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linuxcbon

Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 749

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 00:41    Post subject:  HOWTO choose hardware for a PC  

This is a very simplified guide.
This applies to desktop PCs only.
Don't need to buy expensive parts.
Prefer good brands = quality.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1/ POWER SUPPLY UNIT (PSU)
Good brands : Cooler Master, Seasonic.
Most important : if a power supply is of bad quality, it can burn a PC.
500W are enough for most of "normal" PCs.
PSU should be 80 PLUS (energy saving and less heat).
Good model : Cooler Master G500 (60$)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2/ DESKTOP VIDEO CARD
Good brands : ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI.
There are 2 types : AMD and NVIDIA.
There are different extensions generations :
- PCI express x16 3.0 (latest)
- PCI express x16 2.0 (older)
- PCI express x16 1.0 (even older)
- AGP (even even older)
- PCI (even even even older)
Note : pci express is "backward compatible" , for instance a pci-e 3.0 card will also work on pci-e 2.0 and 1.0 motherboards, but slower.
- Do you need an AGP or PCI card only ? Look at the second hand market.
- For modern cards :
Comparison http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php
Order list by Passmark G3D Mark (higher is better).
Best around 100 dollars : Radeon HD7770 (pci-e 3.0)
--> cheaper MSI R7770 (100$)
Note this board will work on any pci-express, but not in agp or pci.
You can buy faster cards, but it is more expensive.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3/ CPU = Processor
2 brands : AMD and Intel.
A CPU is defined by its "socket" (=generation).
Examples of old CPU sockets :
- 462 (A) : AMD
- 478 : Intel
For modern CPUs, the latest sockets are :
- FM2 : AMD
- 1150 : Intel
See the comparison of CPUs : http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php
Order by CPU Mark.
2 fastest modern CPUs at around 100$ :
- Intel Core i3-4330 (socket 1150)
- AMD A10-6800K (socket FM2) = CPU+GPU
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4/ MOTHERBOARD
Good brands : ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI.
If you want to replace an old motherboard, you often have to change the CPU too, because new motherboards have different cpu "sockets".
How to chose a modern motherboard :
- Size : prefer Micro-ATX (small and energy saving).
- Chose the RAM generation : DDR1 (oldest), DDR2 (old), DDR3 (new).
- Chose the Maximum RAM speed support (example 2800MHz).
- Chose the Maximum RAM capacity support (example 64GB).
- Video connection : PCI Express 3.0 or 2.0
--> good model for socket 1150 : MSI Z87M-G43 (100$)
--> good model for socket FM2+ : ASRock FM2A75M Pro4+ (90$)
(careful : they don't have any IDE connection, only SATA).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5/ RAM = Memory
Good brands : G.Skill, Crucial
DIMM is for desktop, SO-DIMM is for laptop.
Type depends on what the motherboard can accept : DDR1, DDR2, DDR3.
- If you need old DDR1 : 1GB at 400MHz is enough (bigger is too expensive)
Good model : G.Skill Value NS 1GB DDR 400MHz CL3 (25$)
(If you need 3GB, then you can buy 3 times the same 1Gb stick).
- If you need old DDR2 : 2GB at 800MHz is enough (bigger is too expensive)
Good model : G.Skill Value NT 2GB DDR2 800MHz CL5 (30$)
- If you need modern DDR3 : 4GB at 1600MHz is enough (bigger is too expensive).
Good model : G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600MHz CL9 (45$)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6/ HARD DRIVE
Good brands : Western Digital, Seagate .
There are 2 sizes : 3"5 for desktop, 2"5 for laptop.
There are 2 types of connection : old IDE and new SATA.
For old hard disks (IDE) : you can buy from second hand market.
For new hard disks (SATA) :
- Speed 7200 RPM (there is better but more expensive)
- connection SATA 3.0 (latest).
- 1TB is today cheap
- Disk cache 64MB
Good model : Western Digital WD10EZEX Blue (60$)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
These were only simple examples but you get the idea.
Web sites for new hardware :
http://www.ldlc.com (france)
http://www.newegg.com/Computer-Hardware/Store (usa)
Web sites for second hand :
http://www.gumtree.com

If you have other advice , remarks , please answer here.

Last edited by linuxcbon on Thu 06 Feb 2014, 08:43; edited 7 times in total
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ardvark


Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 846
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 08:32    Post subject:    

Hi...

Thank you for the rundown. The only two things I would add are...

1. PC Power and Cooling also make good PSU's.

2. I'm not sure Western Digital or Seagate are the best brands but I think they are pretty much who we have left. Wink

Regards...

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Galbi


Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Bs.As. - Argentina.

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 11:00    Post subject:  

For Hard Disks look at this brand comparative:

http://www.omicrono.com/2014/01/cuales-son-los-discos-duros-mas-fiables-del-mercado/

In spanish, but graphs are very clear.

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ardvark


Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 846
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 19:05    Post subject:  

Thanks, Galbi but I wonder how old the survey is? I know that Hitachi, Samsung, Maxtor, IBM and Fujitsu were bought out. So apart from WD and Seagate, I guess that leaves Toshiba. Sad

Regards...
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grump


Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 98
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 19:55    Post subject:  

In the middle of last year I built a desktop (actually, an under the desk) PC for home with the following components:

MB - Gigabyte H87M-D3H
CPU - Intel i5-4430
RAM - 8Gb Kingston 1600
SSD - Intel 330 80Gb (system disk)
HDD - WD Green 1Tb (data disk)
DVD - LG
Case and PS - Antec 4482B
MS wireless kb mouse

This boots 64bit Win8 in 15 seconds. The SSD is magic.
I've tried a Puppy (live CD) on it - everything worked straight off.

I based my choices on Charles (seldom) Wright's workhorse PC articles such as this:
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/building-a-workhorse-pc-20130626-2ovtq.html

I'm delighted with this PC.
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NickAu


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 186
Location: Far North Coast NSW ɹǝpunuʍop

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 20:58    Post subject:  

@ grump

I guess you are aware of the fact that you do not defrag a ssd? In fact defraging a ssd can reduce its life. ( windoze os only as linux dose not need defraging.)

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EdD

Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 166
Location: Southside Virginia

PostPosted: Fri 31 Jan 2014, 10:28    Post subject:  

Very good info. I would add that there's a good source for HDDs on ebay, new drives, IDE or SATA , some very economically priced:

http://stores.ebay.com/goHardDrive-full retail plus shipping-and-Retail?_rdc=1

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grump


Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 98
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 02:32    Post subject:  

NickAu wrote:
@ grump

I guess you are aware of the fact that you do not defrag a ssd?

Sure diddly neighbouroony.
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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 958
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 07:49    Post subject:  

Quote:
windoze os only as linux dose not need defraging
Well that shows how much you understand about disks.
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NickAu


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 186
Location: Far North Coast NSW ɹǝpunuʍop

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 20:13    Post subject:  

Burn_IT wrote:
Quote:
windoze os only as linux dose not need defraging
Well that shows how much you understand about disks.


Yet to read a post that says linux needs defraging. But then again im only new to linux, So please teach me how to defrag linux.

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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 958
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 21:03    Post subject:  

Fragmentation of the data on disks has nothing to do with the operating system using the disk.
It has to do with the file system that is used on the disk.

Puppy Linux very often uses the same file system as Windows, as it is often run on the same disk as Windows is.

As to how to defrag disks using Linux, or in particular, Puppy, that is a good question that I don't know the answer to off the top of my head.
Now I've got to go away and look it up......

Actually I'm misleading you a bit as when you do a frugal install of Puppy it grabs a large chunk of space on the host file system as a single file and creates its own virtual file system within that space. However it is still a good idea to store SFSs and as much as possible in the host file system where it can be shared between Puppies far more easily.

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NickAu


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 186
Location: Far North Coast NSW ɹǝpunuʍop

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 21:18    Post subject:  

Just FYI I am not arguing with you or anybody when I ask these questions I truly do not know or may have read something some place that says something else. And there is a lot of "information" out there and some of it is well lets say not correct. I have found this forum gives good advice.

Heres something I found on the subject of linux fragmenting and yes it mentions the sort of file system it uses etc.

Quote:

Linux’s ext2, ext3, and ext4 file systems – ext4 being the file system used by Ubuntu and most other current Linux distributions – allocates files in a more intelligent way. Instead of placing multiple files near each other on the hard disk, Linux file systems scatter different files all over the disk, leaving a large amount of free space between them. When a file is edited and needs to grow, there’s usually plenty of free space for the file to grow into. If fragmentation does occur, the file system will attempt to move the files around to reduce fragmentation in normal use, without the need for a defragmentation utility.

Because of the way this approach works, you will start to see fragmentation if your file system fills up. If it’s 95% (or even 80%) full, you’ll start to see some fragmentation. However, the file system is designed to avoid fragmentation in normal use.

If you do have problems with fragmentation on Linux, you probably need a larger hard disk. If you actually need to defragment a file system, the simplest way is probably the most reliable: Copy all the files off the partition, erase the files from the partition, then copy the files back onto the partition. The file system will intelligently allocate the files as you copy them back onto the disk.

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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 958
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb 2014, 07:44    Post subject:  

Its all right, I'm being finicky.
I object - well get annoyed- when people (generally) say one thing is good and another is bad when they have no idea about the facts behind the case.

I quote an example that most people will have heard.
The Popeye series of cartoons implied spinach was some sort of super food. That was based on the iron content of it. The problem was that the researcher measuring the iron content got his sums wrong and the figures were a factor of ten out.
Another is the myth that SALT is bad for you. Salt is an essential compound for life, as is shown by the fact that Explorers have to carry extra salt tablets. What salt does is enable the body to retain water. If your body does retain TOO much water your blood pressure rises leading to heart problems.

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